The Advantages To Earning A Medical Billing Degree
A medical billing degree offers individuals the ability to work as specialists within the quickly expanding health care system. Medical billing programs offer students the educational background necessary to understand medical codes, process medical billing information, and complete invoices. Medical billing degree programs also provide students with the technical skills and knowledge necessary to understand medical codes, insurance company polices, and interpret claim forms while securing and maintaining patient confidentiality. Medical billing professionals are generally responsible for efficiently handling the financial aspects of a medical facility between patients, physicians, insurance companies, and vendors.
Many colleges and universities have developed innovative online degree programs to extend educational opportunities to students beyond traditional, on campus instruction. As students frequently maintain work and family obligations in addition to educational responsibilities, online degree programs are the most convenient means of obtaining a degree. Most online courses feature virtually the same educational experiences and information as their traditional, on campus counterparts. Online classes generally consist of groups of 25 students who have 24 hour access to course materials and one on one access to classmates or professors through Internet chats. Additionally, most online programs offer students a more personalized educational experience necessary for propelling personal and professional goals.
What Students Learn Within Medical Billing Degree Programs
Medical billing degree programs give students knowledge regarding the policies, procedures, and laws regarding medical billing as well as a solid understanding of the computer, health care, and medical systems. Medical billing programs offer instruction in fields like: medical coding, procedure coding, medical billing, business administration, computer keyboarding, data entry, spreadsheet application, computer software, and the legal and ethical aspects of health care. Most employers require candidates to complete a 2 year associate degree to qualify for medical billing billing positions. Courses at an associate level include: introduction to health services, medical terminology, ethical and legal aspects of health services, managed care and health insurance, medical coding, computer applications in health services, fundamentals of accounting for managers, business organization and management, computer applications, expository writing, writing through literature, public speaking, anatomy and physiology, psychology, macroeconomics/microeconomics, career management seminar, and an internship. Graduates who complete associate’s degree programs may advance to employment or continue studies at a bachelor level.
Bachelor degree programs in medical billing offer students specialized training in business and health care disciplines. Bachelor level courses include: accounting, introduction to management, the digital firm and business communications, leadership and team dynamics, principles of marketing, organizational behavior and human relations, quantitative decision making, principles of microeconomics, medical law and ethics, health care finance, medical terminology for health care professionals, health care quality, principles of health information management, epidemiolgy and applied health care statistics, health care data, advanced health care information systems, research methodologies, management affiliations, basic diagnosis coding, basic procedure coding, intermediate diagnosis coding, intermediate procedure coding, and pathophysiology and pharmacology. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs may gain employment or continue to master’s degree programs.
Master’s degree programs in the discipline of medical billing do not exist so many students advance studies in a related field.. Many students choose the discipline of health informatics and information management to gain the specialized skills necessary for employment as health care administrators and other supervisory positions. Courses at a master’s level include: information technology and systems, quality management in health services: information for quality care, legal issues in health information technology and systems, leadership for health information technology and systems, financial management for health professionals, health care information systems, health care vocabularies and clinical terminologies, statistics and decision making, knowledge management, concepts of research methodology, and issues in health information technology seminar. Graduates with master’s degrees may advance to employment or continue studies in doctoral degree programs.
Doctoral degree programs offer students the ability to gain the specialized knowledge and training necessary to qualify as experts in the field of health care administration. Courses within a doctoral program include: advanced research in adult human development and behavior, epistemology of practice knowledge, fundamentals of social science research, quantitative research methods in public service, advanced study in research methods in public service, quality improvement and organizational performance in health care, operations in health care systems, managing human capital in health care environments, financial analysis in health care systems, strategic management of health care reimbursement systems, health policies analysis and strategy, health care strategic planning and management, health systems analysis and evaluation, law and health care administration, ethics and decision making in health care, leading organizational change in health care systems, and a dissertation. Graduates with doctoral degrees typically advance to employment as researchers or instructors within vocational schools, colleges, and universities.
Prospective Jobs For Medical Billing Degree Graduates
Medical billing degree graduates gain a versatile education based in the fast growing health care, information technology, and business industries. Graduates who complete medical billing programs may expect to find plentiful job opportunities within most health or medical care organizations though educational level, skill level, certificates/licenses held, and geographic location may affect employability. Graduates who complete associate degrees often work as medical records specialists, medical billing clerks, or health information technicians within hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, health clinics, and medical group practices. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs often work as medical records specialists, medical billing and coding specialists, insurance claims processors, assistant medical office supervisors, or health care information specialists. Graduates with master’s degrees often work as health information managers, medical office managers, health care information supervisors, or sometimes instructors within vocational schools upon completing additional training. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs often work as chief executive officers within health care facilities, researchers within medical organizations, or instructors at colleges and universities.
Salary Range For Medical Billing Degree Graduates
Medical billing graduates have the ability to build long term lasting careers with earnings based upon educational, skill, and employment factors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average annual earnings for medical billing professionals range from $ 24,290 to $39,490 annually. Graduates who complete formal training, gain licensure, and work within governmental agencies and hospitals generally have higher earnings than graduates with less experience and education or those employed within outpatient care centers and physicians’ offices. Additionally, graduates who work in specific states, including New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Hawii, Maryland, and Massachusetts generally have higher earnings than graduates in other regions. Graduates with associate’s degrees who work as medical coders generally earn $23,700 to $33,050 annually. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs and advance to employment
as assistant medical office supervisors generally earn $43,410 to $50,280 annually. Graduates with master’s degrees who work as medical health managers or other health care administrative professionals generally earn $62,170 to $104,120 annually. Graduates who complete doctoral degrees and advance to employment as chief executive officers within health care organizations generally earn $62,900 to $137,020 annually. Doctoral degree graduates who advance to instructor positions within colleges and universities generally earn $41,600 to $83,960 annually.
Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Graduates with Medical Billing Degrees
Graduates who complete medical billing degree programs gain the educational training and background to build lasting careers in the expanding field of health care. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that job growth for medical coders and health information technicians will increase by 20 percent through 2018 at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. Job growth is expected to increase due to population aging and expansion, the increase of digital and electronic health record keeping, and demand for professionals who can manage electronic data. Most medical billing graduates begin employment within entry level jobs, gain work experience, and continue education in certification or advanced degree programs to advance to health information manager positions with greater administrative responsibilities and higher salaries. Graduates with advanced degrees often begin employment within managerial or supervisory positions and advance to teaching positions within vocational schools, colleges, or universities. Some graduates also advance to independent, self owned consulting business upon gaining adequate experience and funding.